ART + CULTURE: Joey George, the hair artist behind Aquaria’s Met Gala hair on what inspired ‘Ponytail Assassin’
Words: Katharina Lina
Hair & Photography: Joey George
Last week, Aquaria made history as the first drag queen who walked down the Met Gala red carpet. With this year’s theme being ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ it was only appropriate that drag queens finally attended the event. Aquaria appeared wearing a black deconstructed ribbon gown designed by John Galliano, paired with crystallised claw gloves. But it was especially the white wig made by Joey George that turned heads. “Seeing the wig on Aquaria sparked so many emotions” he shares, “I was so happy. It was the first time a drag queen had walked the red carpet for the Met Gala. The piece I created wasn’t intended for this project but it fitted so perfectly with the look she was going for. It was an iconic moment.”
George styled the hair to bend towards the front, painted everything white, and thus created a stiff, dagger-like ponytail. Titled ‘Ponytail Assassin’, this work was inspired by an albino scorpion he found while working on a shoot in the Southwest desert.
This isn’t the first time George has used inorganic materials in this works with hair. Back in 2014, his unique pieces caught the eye or Lady Gaga, which resulted in George joining her on her European ARTPOP tour to create custom looks. While he is a hairdresser by professional trade, George often prefers the term ‘Hair Artist’: “I’m very much inspired by surrealism and modern art. When I’m in my studio painting canvases or building pieces there is always a musical influence, usually the Balanescu Quartet, a reference of inspiration, and then I just let the creative juices flow.”